How important are the Iowa caucuses?

The Iowa caucuses don't always predict who becomes the president...

Since the 1970s, the Iowa Caucuses have been the first major milestone in U.S. presidential elections. But it doesn't always predict who becomes president

In 1972, Maine Senator Edmund Muskie narrowly won the Iowa Caucuses — but not the Democratic nomination.

In 1976, Jimmy Carter got the most votes of any Democratic candidate in Iowa but 37% of Iowans actually voted as “uncommitted.”

In 1980, incumbent President Carter handily won the Iowa Caucuses — then lost the office to Ronald Regan. That year on the Republican side, George H.W. Bush won in Iowa.

In 1984, Democrat Walter Mondale took the Iowa Caucuses, then the party’s nomination — but ultimately, he didn't defeat Reagan, the incumbent president. In 1988, Republican Bob Dole and Democrat Dick Gephardt won their respective caucuses. Neither went on to win their party’s nomination.

In 1992, Sen. Tom Harkin won in his home state of Iowa but did not become the nominee. Bob Dole won the 1996 Iowa Caucuses and the Republican Party’s nomination. But he eventually lost to incumbent president Bill Clinton.

In 2000, Al Gore and George W. Bush both won the Iowa caucuses and their party’s nomination.

In 2004, John Kerry won in Iowa, but went on to lose to President George W. Bush.

In 2008, a victory in Iowa led Barrack Obama all the way to the presidency.

In 2012, Rick Santorum won the Iowa Caucuses — but his party’s nomination eluded him.

In 2016, Hillary Clinton won Iowa and the Democratic nomination while Sen. Ted Cruz won on the Republican side. Despite a late challenge, Hillary Clinton was able to defeat Bernie Sanders in the first-in-the-nation Iowa Caucus by the closest margin in the history of the contest: 49.8% to 49.6% (Clinton collected 700.47 state delegate equivalents to Sanders' 696.92, a difference of one quarter of a percentage point). But it was Donald Trump who went on to become president.


02/03/2020 12:58 PM


  • Sean C.
    02/26/2020 13:24

    and no matter who won iowa or the democratic nomination, it won stand a chance against TRUMP

  • Dakota C.
    02/23/2020 03:08

    But how many has got the most votes in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada? Asking for a friend.

  • Dustin G.
    02/22/2020 10:29

    Did Hillary really win Iowa or was it handed to her via “coin flips”?

  • David F.
    02/18/2020 18:54

    Scared of Bernie?

  • Thomas E.
    02/15/2020 03:46

    All of their canidates are a joke anyway... Trump go 125,000 votes and was uncontested... Only 200,000. Voted for the Democratic cantdates.. There is no interest it what they bring to the table

  • Σαπ Φ.
    02/12/2020 04:14

    you are mixing apples and oranges here. the question should be about how often the person who wins the iowa primaries wins their party's nomination. both parties have primaries and only one party is going to win, so even if EVERYONE who wins the iowa primary ALWAYS won the party nomination, still 50% of people who win an iowa primary wouldn't win the election. this video is very sloppy in mixing up the primaries and the general election.

  • Martie S.
    02/08/2020 17:02

    Sanders 2020!

  • Kevin A.
    02/04/2020 20:08

    Afraid of the bern...

  • Kim P.
    02/03/2020 15:40

    it does seem like this was made by a non Bernie supporter- but ok

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